winwinner Wednesday: CarShare Vermont

CarShare Vermont is cool nonprofit on a mission to provide Vermonters with an affordable, convenient, and reliable alternative to owning a car.

The idea: If more Vermonters skipped owning and driving cars in favor of using shared vehicles just when they needed wheels, we’d reduce greenhouse gases, save money, and create a stronger community.

How it started: In 2002, a group of Burlington residents caught wind of “car-sharing,” an innovation that was growing in cities across the country. The group reached out to the San Francisco Bay Area’s nonprofit City CarShare, where by chance, Vermont native Annie Bourdon answered the phone. Annie collaborated with the group over several years, and when she finally moved back to Burlington, she helmed a grassroots effort to get the initiative off the ground. By 2008 many volunteers (individuals and businesses) were involved, and the service launched in December 2008 as CarShare Vermont.

The winwin: Area residents use one of 5 Priuses and 4 Imprezas parked throughout Burlington, VT to get around town, do errands, etc. Residents don’t have to bother with the expense and hassle of owning, maintaining or parking a vehicle the city has less traffic congestion, and the air has fewer greenhouse gases. Now that’s a winwin!

How they used winwin apps: CarShare Vermont’s 1 year anniversary event, “Share the Love,” was a fundraiser at the Main Street Landing in Burlington, VT. CarShare was a tester of winwin apps’ early software, using it to promote the event, register attendees, and manage their fundraising auction.

More info: CarShare offers memberships for individuals, families, and businesses with rates starting as low as $4.95 an hour and $0.25 per mile, including gas and insurance. Users can reserve by the hour or day and only pay for what they need. For more info, visit www.carsharevt.org.

About “winwinner” Wednesday: Each week we profile one of the nonprofits using winwin apps to make the world a better place. If you’d like to be featured on our blog, drop us a line!